To say the internet is a massive place is definitely an understatement. Because of this, shopping for an RV online can be overwhelming and seem nearly impossible. This is especially true when it comes to buying and shopping for good, dependable dealerships, too. And we know that a lot of RVers’ first stop when searching for a new one is the website of their favorite dealership.
One of the first steps to begin the shopping online process is to make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of. Most sellers and dealers are not out to scam anyone, but it always helps to be aware of fraud red flags. Below are a few more tips on how to shop for RVs online!
First things first: If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. The first rule we like to teach is this! If it simply doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. If you’re shopping for an RV, chances are you know estimates on how much each make or model may cost. Go with your gut feeling. So, when you see a model on sale for tens of thousands more or less than what it should be going for, your instinct is probably correct. Move on to the next dealer.
Learn about the RV’s history. Think about the research you do before buying a car. You attain its VIN number, get its maintenance history, you know its market value and you may even have a complete inspection done before you decide. The exact same should go for purchasing an RV online. Review the title of the rig and see if you can find the maintenance history on it. This will tell you more everything you’ll need to know to make an educated decision.
Always try to see the RV in person before you buy. Though the photos are what may have sold you on the RV you’re looking at, it’s still a really good idea to see the rig in person before purchasing it. Just because the dealer or seller has posted photos doesn’t necessarily mean the RV actually exists. They could have easily gotten photos from another website, and photos also don’t show you everything you’ll see in person. The RV may have a massive scratch or dent on the exterior that’s hard to miss, but if all their photos are clear of that mark, to the viewer, it doesn’t exist.
Verify the dealer or seller’s legitimacy. Do some research on the seller or dealer to ensure they are real. You can always call and speak with them beforehand, as well. It’s always a good idea to meet them in person before you make any decisions. If they aren’t more than happy to accommodate this simple request, it should raise a red flag.
Always ask for a detailed receipt. Any legit dealer or seller should give you this without you having to ask. Be sure the receipt states whether it is under warranty or if you’re buying it as is. Attaining all of the hard copies of records, receipts, etc. that you can may come in handy one day should you decide to sell your RV. You should also be sure to ask for the title to the RV and any sort of previous history. This is a general rule, regardless of how you’re shopping for your RV. Whether you’re in person or online, grabbing that receipt and any other hard copies of documents will help you in the end.
Watch for people that request personal information. NEVER give anyone any information that will lead them to you. Requests for bank info, credit score or any financial or personal information too early in the game should offset you. A lot of scammers will also create some outrageous story in order to attain your bank routing number. Once they have this number, they also have access to your checking account. They can start drawing money from that account until you catch on. Avoid working with this seller or dealer if they ask for any of this information.
Do not wire any amount of money to a dealer or private seller. Even if you are a private dealer yourself. Technology makes it so easy for scammers to get your bank info. They will request you to wire money because they don’t need an ID to get the funds. They can receive it anywhere in the world in a short amount of time. If this is unavoidable, simply make sure the services you’re using are legit. Also walk away if they ask for a large deposit. Instead, drive to the dealership and try to pay on the lot. This is much more secure, and you’ll be able to meet their staff members!
How to Shop Online for an RV
We understand shopping for an RV online can be tricky, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find a great deal! So, just use your best judgment. If something seems strange or off, move on to another seller. You’ll find the right RV for you!